We’ve all heard about start-up businesses that began in a bedroom, garage or shed, that then go on to become a huge success. However, perhaps not all of them have managed that feat during the biggest UK recession in recent times.
In 2009, Nick Lindwall and Lee Crew took the decision to walk away from paid employment to set up Ottimo Digital, with a dream of building a successful wide-format print business on the simple premise of providing outstanding print and exceptional customer service.
Starting out in a bedroom-sized printroom in Newport, South Wales, and equipped with just one modest roll-fed solvent printer, the business grew rapidly. New business was won and customer retention was the default. This naturally led quickly to necessary investment in additional print hardware.
The growth continued apace and in 2012 the Ottimo Digital HQ was relocated to a 5000-square foot production facility, with a printroom now equipped with a wide array of printers including a 3.2m wide roll-to-roll and an 8’ x 4’ flatbed.
Fast forward to 2017 and that same printroom now boasts a large number of aqueous, eco-solvent and latex roll-to-roll printers, two UV flatbed printers and a 3.2m wide automated cutting table capable of cutting, creasing and routing.
Pride of place is currently occupied by the most recent acquisition: the UK’s first 5-metre wide EFI Quantum LXr5 printer.
The EFI Quantum LXr5 UV-LED printer – featuring powerful LED-curing technology with dramatically lower power consumption – is a seven-colour system with optional white ink and unique feature sets such as double-sided printing, wrinkle analyser and many more. The printer offers high-quality imaging with 7 picolitre greyscale imaging in resolutions up to 1,200 dpi.
Additionally, the Quantum printer benefits from labour-saving inline finishing and single-operator media handling capabilities. It sets a new benchmark in reducing waste in media handling, with only 40 cm of wasted material per roll.
The achievable print quality makes the EFI Quantum 5LXr ideal for exhibition graphics that are often viewed at much closer ranges than output such as signage, banners and billboards.
Ottimo Digital Director Nick Lindwall explains: “Our business is primarily in exhibition graphics for retail and trade, and late in 2016 we identified a need for a roll-to-roll UV printer big enough to cope with high-quality 4-metre high exhibition stand graphics printed as a single piece. We were also keen to streamline our finishing process as that might have become something of a bottleneck if we began producing output that was too large to fit on our 3.2m cutting table.”
Following investigation of the options available – and having spoken to EFI supplier CMYUK – Ottimo was recommended the EFI Quantum 5LXr, which offers the desired LED-UV ink curing, very high print quality, and – importantly – an in-built cutter that allows for the production of finished graphics straight off the printer.
Nick continues: “We were invited by CMYUK to visit the EFI demo facility in Belgium to see the Quantum 5LXr printer in action. During this presentation, it quickly became apparent that the Quantum ticked pretty much every box. We came away suitably impressed and were confident that it was the right machine for us. We placed an order with CMYUK shortly afterwards.”
Since installation last month (February 2017), and with the assistance of CMYUK, the EFI Quantum 5LXr has already begun to produce live customer work, with the first jobs being produced during the training process.
Joint Ottimo Digital Director Lee Crew comments: “We are over the moon with this latest purchase. Entering the 5m-wide market, along with our already comprehensive range of equipment, means that we are perfectly placed to handle absolutely any project that customers require.
“In addition to this, the Quantum is the only 5m-wide machine to offer full in-line cutting which will speed up our finishing process, enabling us to offer extremely short turnarounds.”
CMYUK’s Robin East concludes: “Ottimo Digital are such an impressive operation, they’ve got a very loyal customer base and I can only see them growing further as their capabilities lead to them winning more new business. The addition of the EFI Quantum now enables Ottimo to offer its clients faster turnaround and superb quality. We’re delighted that CMYUK has been able to play a part in helping Ottimo move on to the next level in the development of their business.”
[Photo shows: Ottimo Digital's Lee Crew (left) and Nick Lindwall (right) with the UK’s first EFI Quantum LXr5 UV-LED printer.]